A Na’vi warrior stands on the neck of a flying ikran, or banshee, and readies a bow for an attack in trailer footage from Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

A Na’vi warrior stands on the neck of a flying ikran, or banshee, and readies a bow for an attack in trailer footage from Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

With Avatar: The Way of Water — the long-delayed sequel to James Cameron’s groundbreaking 2009 film Avatar — lastly hitting theaters, followers could also be questioning how the new wave of tie-ins and spinoffs may tie into the promised five-movie collection, three of which have already reportedly been shot.

Ubisoft’s Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora was introduced in 2021 for launch this yr, then delayed in July for a deliberate March 2023 launch. Avatar: Reckoning, an MMO designed for cell units, was additionally deliberate for a 2022 launch, but at the moment doesn’t have a launch date. The Way of Water producer Jon Landau lately shared some particulars about the games with Polygon, and confirmed that neither may have any storyline crossover with The Way of Water or different Avatar movies.

“We don’t want the stories to be told together,” Landau mentioned. “This is where we differentiate [from other multimedia franchises]. We want the stories to be unique in each of these spaces.”

Landau says the pondering round Avatar franchise spinoffs is that they need to all be set in several arenas, so firms producing games — or Avatar comics, or much more divergent tasks, like Cirque du Soleil’s Avatar present, Toruk: The First Flight — have extra freedom to inform their very own tales.

“We don’t have creative content coming out in the visual medium so rapidly as other IPs do,” Landau mentioned. “It’s not like, Let’s do a streaming series, and another streaming series, and a sequel one year later, and all those things. That’s just not who we are. We don’t want that for Avatar. What we want to do is find the best in brand partners, and expand the universe by challenging them to do what they do best. We’re doing that now with Massive and Ubisoft.”

At the similar time, Landau and co-producer, director, and author James Cameron wish to ensure all these divergent tales align. “We want what we do in these spaces to become canon in our world. So they cannot do something that conflicts with our stories,” Landau mentioned.

For the games, which means setting the motion outdoors or round the movies’ storyline. “Frontiers of Pandora takes place in the western frontier of Pandora,” Landau explains. “That’s not somewhere we’ve gone before. It takes place in the timeframe after Avatar: The Way of Water opens, but before the one-year time cut in the movie.”

In the first Avatar film, the Na’vi — the catlike humanoids native to the world of Pandora — resist and drive off the human incursion represented by the RDA, or Resources Development Administration, the militaristic group making an attempt to mine sources from Pandora. At the starting of The Way of Water, the RDA returns to Pandora, headed by army chief General Ardmore, an antagonist in the film and the Dark Horse graphic novel collection Avatar: The High Ground.

Frontiers of Pandora is consistent with the movie, in that it talks about characters that come back with the RDA,” Landau says. “General Ardmore is talked about in the game, but they’re back at the Bridgehead base, not at the frontier. It’s just like we did with [Disney theme-park land] The World of Avatar, which takes place in the Valley of Mo’ara. It’s not a place we see in the movies — it deals with the Omaticaya [clan of Na’vi], on a river that we’ve never seen in the movies. And it takes place two generations after the events of the first film, so we see wrecked Samson and other wrecked gunships in the forest. We see the forest retaking those. But these [franchise spinoffs] are not telling our story.”

Avatar: The Way of Water premieres in theaters on Dec. 16. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is coming to Amazon Luna, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X in March 2023. Avatar: Reckoning doesn’t have a projected launch date, and is being developed for iOS and Android platforms.

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